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Jackpot Trivia and Fun Facts

Health Games offers a variety of fun jackpot games. Nothing quite beats the excitement of playing for a big prize, and with games like Millionaire Genie, Rise of the Pharaohs, Treasure Fair, and Mega Fortune, there is a game sure to appeal to just about anyone.

Of course, you know that jackpots are thrilling. But do you know the origins of the word “jackpot”, or the history of this style of game? Read on and you might just learn something new!

The History of the Jackpot

The term “jackpot” comes from a poker game that was popular in the 1870s. An initial bet would be placed, and players would then see if they had a hand that could beat a pair of tens, therefore the game began to be known as “Jacks or Better.” Once a player could make the opening bet, then all bets could resume as normal, but if no one was able to place a bet, then the hand would have to be re-dealt, and the ante upped, thus the pot could grow strictly from the stakes. If, at the end of the game, no one had better than three of a kind, then the pot couldn’t be won and the hand had to be redealt with an additional ante. This could cause the pot to grow quite large, which is where the term “jackpot” originated.

Over the years, the word has had different meanings. After several decades, it became a slang term that meant one was in trouble with the law. By the mid-20th century, it had returned to its roots and was associated with hitting the main prize on slot machines. From there, it began to mean any positive turn of luck - for instance, someone who is good looking,  has a great job, is happily married, and has healthy kids, might be said to have “hit the jackpot” on life! 

Progressive Games

The first-ever slot machine was created in 1895 by Charles Fey, but it wasn’t until 1986 when the first progressive slot machine was introduced by IGT. What differentiated the then-standard slot machine from its newest competitor was that instead of issuing the same standard jackpot amount for each win, the newer progressive machine would up the winning jackpot with each losing spin. Once the winning combination was spun, the jackpot would then reset to its starting amount and would begin climbing again from there. 

From there, it was only a matter of time before progressive machines were linked together locally, so multiple players could all work towards upping the jackpot amount while trying to win the grand prize. As technology advanced, these machines began to offer secondary prizes in addition to the primary jackpot. These secondary winnings would grant the player a smaller jackpot, even if they did not win the primary one. 

Today, progressive slot machines can be linked together across the world, each network working together going towards the main jackpot, while smaller, more local pools can be established within the same network, giving players more opportunities to win while they try for the big prize. These networks also help players feel like they are all working together, while still betting against each other, towards the common goal of triggering the lucky spin or play. After all, who doesn’t like the feeling of coming together for something big?